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15 June 2017, 12:00
The gag is...it's actually a good thing.
A redesign of the rainbow flag with extra black and brown stripes, was unveiled for Philadelphia pride as part of a new campaign, More Color More Pride, which aims to recognise non-white LGBTQ communities. But the flag has caused controversy, typically among white gay men, that feel the pride flag should reflect sexuality and gender, not race. As one twitter user wrote, it's "not a race flag". And, honestly, they are so wrong.
The campaign has sparked a big discussion in the community about what the pride flag actually means and who it represents. To better understand this debate and why the rainbow flag SHOULD be inclusive of ethnic minorities, we need to take a quick history lesson in the origins of the rainbow flag.
As rightfully pointed out by HISKIND magazine, the original pride flag was created by the late Gilbert Baker in 1978. He designed the flag in response to racism in the LGBT community. At the time, the Pink Triangle flag was used by the community, which was a little problematic as that was the symbol used by the Nazi's to identify gay people. Baker wanted a flag to represent the whole community and it's many different perspectives. He later said, "The rainbow is so perfect because it really fits our diversity in terms of race, gender, ages, all of those things. Plus, it’s a natural flag — it’s from the sky!” So some people might not think that the flag represents race, but it was very much intended to do so.
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The fact of the matter is that the pride movement had been bravely lead for decades by queer, non-white folks and we all owe them a great deal of gratitude for fighting for our rights. Yet today, individuals of colour are often marginalised and ignored in our fight for equality and experience racism from those within the LGBTQ community. We must come together to make this stop. And if this new flag, with the added black and brown stripe, will encourage a more inclusive LGBT community, then we are all for it.
So the tl;dr is stop being so butt hurt by the new flag, do some history homework and start showing your support for non-white LGBTQ people. What do you really have to lose?
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